With the number of pervious concrete installations growing, owners are now calling on concrete producers and contractors to help maintain their pavements. Responding to this new demand, the organizers of Pervious Concrete Live! at World of Concrete 2013 presented two approaches contractors can use to restore initial infiltration rates on pervious pavements.
In its fourth year, Pervious Concrete Live!, presented by The Concrete Producer and Concrete Construction magazines, has become the industry’s showcase for pervious concrete innovation. Attendees have witnessed and participated in emerging pervious pavement installation, techniques, and materials. Sponsors offer contractors hands-on opportunities to test new equipment prototypes.
The event draws international attention. This year, several contractors from France visited World of Concrete specifically to meet with pervious technology experts. They also participated in an Installer Certification program. Interest in pervious concrete is rapidly growing. “Pervious Live! is gaining a reputation for giving the industry, and more specifically, contractors, the experience needed to reduce the fear factor regarding pervious placements,” says Dennis Lura, president of Lura Enterprises.
Maintaining our future
In addition to practicing pervious installation techniques, attendees learned how to expand their businesses. Contractors can tap into a new revenue stream by offering maintenance services to restore infiltration rates to designated parameters, while reinforcing owner acceptance of pervious concrete.
Technicians showcased two maintenance approaches. Both use equipment adapted to pervious concrete pavement.
One approach used vacuum trucks to uplift plugging material lodged below the pervious pavement’s surface. David Mitchell, owner of Bunyan Springs, a Salt Lake City-based consulting company focused on pervious concrete, has developed BIRD, a special suction head that debuted at Pervious Concrete Live! in 2012.
The attachment develops enough localized vacuum pressure to remove non-organic void fillers plugging the pavement, without breaking the aggregate-to-aggregate bond so important to durable pervious pavements. The attachment is now sold by Bunyan Industries and marketed by Owen Industries, a Vactor Manufacturing dealer based in Portland, Ore.
In addition to the World of Concrete demonstration, Mitchell has tested his product on pervious pavements around the country, including Chicago, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, and Seattle. “With BIRD, contractors were able to restore infiltration rates on older pervious concrete pavement to levels that match the recorded rates just after construction,” says Mitchell.
The second approach demonstrated how to remove clogging materials from pervious pavement. Jerry McMillen knows about cleaning. He has been involved in hundreds of cleaning operations around the western U.S.
McMillen’s firm, Cleaning System Specialists Inc., assembles portable cleaning units that combine high-pressure water jet and suction devices. The units have been customized for industries from auto detail shops to traditional janitorial services.
At Pervious Concrete Live! this year, McMillen demonstrated a unit that is very similar to traditional floor cleaning equipment. “Workers can use this setup to routinely maintain pervious pavements, just as they would normally clean other concrete pavements,” McMillen explains.